Master plan to guide industrial development Carroll charting economic strategy

November 02, 1992|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Declaring that Carroll County business "is like a ship without a rudder," the county's Economic Development Commission has started work on creating an economic master plan designed to strengthen industry, employment and land use.

The economic master plan, Economic Development Commission members said at a meeting late last week, would be a blueprint for the future of Carroll businesses and guide economic strategies in the county into the 21st century.

Similar to the county's master plan for development, the plan will be intended to guide decisions on the types, locations and sizes of industry that Carroll government officials should try to attract.

The plan also should include ideas to broaden and strengthen the county's economic base, the commissioners said.

"We're like a ship without a rudder," said commission Chairman Lloyd Thomas at the EDC meeting.

"This is one of the most important things that could happen to the EDC."

During the plan's fact-finding phase, commission members will gather information on the impact of industrial growth, Carroll County's work force, the county's future financial needs, future and existing industrial land, and the current infrastructure.

Members of the commission's interagency committee are still identifying specifics within those six areas.

"The fact-finding will give us a baseline to start off with," said Michael Burden, controller for Ridge Engineering in Hampstead.

"We need to pinpoint a strategy and start to move forward."

Interagency committee members hope to have the first phase of the plan completed by February.

Then the plan will be presented to the county commissioners and the full Economic Development Commission for discussion.

"We're trying to gather some of what we feel is the important information to start the planning process for the future economic development of the county," Mr. Burden said.

At that point, the committee members will "have a direction [in which] to move," Mr. Burden said.

David H. Roush, plant manager for Lehigh Portland Cement in Union Bridge, agreed that an economic plan separate from the county's development master plans is necessary.

The county has created master plans for each of the incorporated towns and for the Finksburg area.

County planners are now beginning to work on plans for the remaining sections of the county.

"Identification of industrial zoning was done, but it was done piecemeal," Mr. Roush said.

"From an economic development point of view, we need an overall master plan," he said.

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